How do Black Lives Matter in Biomedical Research, Teaching, and Practice? (Roundtable Presentation)
Six members of Working Group on Race and Racism in Contemporary Biomedicine attended the 2017 National Women's Studies Association conference: 40 Years After Combahee, Feminist Scholars and Activists Engage the Movement for Black Lives in Baltimore, MD on November 16-19, 2017. It was a four-day conference comprised of faculty, graduate students, activists, and policy makers from across the nation.
Members of the Working Group presented on their recent publication in the journal Catalyst, How do Black Lives Matter in Teaching, Lab Practices, and Research? Banu Subramaniam (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) moderated the panelists who spoke with conference attendees about how and why they joined the Group, how Black lives matter in their work, and what the broader implications and takeaways of the Catalyst article are for teaching, supporting young and early scholars, and improving communities and institutions.
Working Group presentation at the National Women Studies Association 2017 annual conference. From left: Jennifer Singh (Georgia Institute of Technology), Deboleena Roy (Emory University), Anne Pollock (Georgia Institute of Technology), Kristen Abatsis McHenry (Spelman College), Renee Shelby (Georgia Institute of Technology, and Kimberly Jackson (Spelman College)
How do Black Lives Matter in Teaching, Lab Practices, and Research? (Article)
The Working Group published a "Lab Meeting" in a double special issue of Catalyst guest edited by Banu Subramaniam and Angela Willey. Interdisciplinary members of the Working Group discuss how Black Lives Matter across differing sociological, epistemological, methodological, and institutional locations.
Pollock, Anne, and Roy, Deboleena. (2017). How do Black Lives Matter in Teaching, Lab Practices, and Research? Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience, 3(1). ISSN 2380-3312.
Members of the Working Group present individual research and host a panel on 'Racism and Health' at the 2017 meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S).
August 30 - September 2, 2017
The Working Group on Race and Racism in Contemporary Biomedicine took their research to new audiences at the 2017 meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), which is the premier annual conference in the interdisciplinary field of Science, Technology, and Society (STS).
Working Group co-founder Anne Pollock (Georgia Tech), together with Working Group alum Melissa Creary (now at Michigan) and Fall 2016 invited speaker Jonathan Metzl (Vanderbilt), convened a two-part open panel on “Racism and Health.” The theme of the conference was “STS (In)sensibilities,” and the Open Panel call pointed out that both racism and health are in/sensible: elusive to define and measure, and yet urgent and palpable. Organizers asked panelists to consider what scholars in science and technology studies contribute to understanding how racism and health intersect in science and in society, and welcomed a broad range of approaches to this question, and sought to generate new networks and conversations among STS scholars to interrogate these vital questions. The response was strong and wide-ranging. Participants gave insightful presentations on such topics as the racialization of refugees and Hurricane Katrina evacuees, the racialized conceptualizations of sickle cell anemia research in Brazil and heart disease treatment in Silicon Valley, and sought to set an agenda for transforming pre-health education and building black feminist disability praxis (the line-up is available at http://tinyurl.com/lu5z5wg and http://tinyurl.com/kw9vuzj).
In addition to the Open Panel, several other Working Group members presented their research in other panels. Jennifer Singh (Georgia Tech) co-convened an open panel on autism, on which she presented her research on autism inequalities. Emily Pingel (Emory) presented a co-authored paper on a Black political critique of cultural humility, Kristen Abatsis McHenry (Spelman) presented a feminist analysis of fracking and breast cancer advocacy, Renee Shelby (Georgia Tech) presented on techno-physical feminism, and Deboleena Roy (Emory) presented on the molecular physiology of a chemical disaster.
The Working Group on Race and Racism in Contemporary Biomedicine Working Group was founded in 2015 with seed funding from the Georgia Tech Provost with the goal of building intellectual common ground among researchers coming from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, and to spark interdisciplinary and cross-institution collaborative research on race and racism in contemporary biomedical research. The interdisciplinary engagements fostered by the Working Group inform and enrich members’ participation in national and international fora such as 4S, contributing to diverse fields exploring the vital topics of race, racism, and biomedicine.
The Working Group presents The Changing Face of HIV: Toward an Intersectional Understanding of Race and HIV in the South at Vanderbilt's: "The Politics of Health in the U.S. South" Conference
March 17-18, 2016
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Jennifer Singh, Manu Platt, Anne Pollock, Emily Pingel, Ryan Gibson, Abigail Sewell, and Lewis Wheaton
Five members of the Georgia Tech-based Atlanta area Working Group on Race and Racism in Contemporary Biomedicine attended a conference called “The Politics of Health in the U.S. South” at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, on March 17-18, 2016. It was a two-day conference comprised of faculty, graduate students, activists, and policy makers from around the region and the country. Its conference presentation there was the first outward-facing research product of the Working Group, which draws together faculty and graduate students at Georgia Tech, Emory, and Spelman in ongoing interdisciplinary conversations, supported by the Georgia Tech Provost, through the Georgia Tech Fund for Innovation in Research and Education (GT-FIRE).
Georgia Tech faculty attendees included Manu Platt, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Anne Pollock, Associate Professor of Literature, Media, and Communication; and Jennifer Singh, Assistant Professor in the School of History and Sociology. Two Emory University PhD Students in Sociology also attended: Emily Pingel and Ryan Gibson. The remaining three coauthors of the Working Group’s conference paper were Melissa Creary, PhD Student in Emory’s Institute for Liberal Arts; Abigail Sewell, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Emory; and Lewis Wheaton, Associate Professor of Applied Physiology at Georgia Tech.
Dr. Singh presented the Working Group’s paper, titled “The Changing Face of HIV: Toward an Intersectional Understanding of Race and HIV in the South,” which was on a panel exploring Intersectional Research in the South. “Intersectionality” is a concept used to describe research approaches that attend to how different categories such as race, social class, sexuality, and gender are interconnected rather than additive, and analyzes how those intersections shape lived experiences. The Working Group’s paper highlighted how intersecting identities in the context of structural inequality create challenges for adequately addressing the needs of those at highest risk of HIV.
A highlight of the conference was the keynote speaker, Melissa Harris-Perry, a professor at Wake Forest University and former MSNBC television host, whose presentation encompassed all the themes of the conference: politics, health, and the U.S. South. It was both sharply analytical and emotionally moving, making evocative connections between historical events and current crises. The conference also offered a venue to meet scholars conducting cutting-edge interdisciplinary research; relationships that will provide the basis to develop future collaborations and events at Georgia Tech.